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Velominatus: simon

Order: Level 2 Velominatus

Location: Taranaki, New Zealand

Social: Website /

@simon's activity:

I’m not saying I’m Batman; if I was Batman it would be a foolish thing to admit to and if I wasn’t Batman it would be a foolish thing to claim to be. What is true, however, is that Batman is pretty cool and it would probably be pretty cool to be a cool dude like Batman. It bears mentioning, however, that I have never been see...

@simon's posts:

  1. @kixsand Really?  I can’t stand Valverde, possibly more than any other rider, ever, and there’s been quite a long list… Didn’t much like anyone on Carrera post ’87, hated Theunisse because of his hair,  Rooks because he looked too much like Theunisse. … »

@Bianchi_Bob sent his article in just this week. Its sense of urgency required it to be published NOW. We all need reminding to live in the moment; here is a good reminder. Thanks Bianchi Bob. Yours in Cycling, Gianni Continue reading...

@simon's posts:

  1. Your daughter sounds like an inspiring young woman, Bob. My own family has been through an eight-year journey with my father’s (and later, mother’s) cancer which was uplifting, amazing, humbling and shit all at the same time.  Bought us into contact with… »

A friend recently asked my advice for how to prepare for the longest ride he’d ever done. My approach is somewhat unorthodox when it comes to this sort of thing; I like to train to ride a lot farther than the event itself, and whenever possible, throw in a handful of sessions with my old friend, The Man with the Hammer. I suggested he do the...

@simon's posts:

  1. @unversio that sounds like a plan – I can’t help wondering if the old army thing about never taking off your boots halfway through the day’ll come into play… I’m pretty short of places to stop between 125k and 260k, probably the toughest sector in ther… »

  2. @DeKerr We have three climbs going up our mountain all about the same height and I know what my legs feel like after 120k with even one of them in it…never mind the nervous state getting down again – the top 10k or so of all of them is paved with the fu… »

  3. Try again, see if I can get the image up this time… »

  4. @universio terrific loop, if a bit outside out of my geography.  Here’s mine – quite a lot of the territory covered in http://cyclingtips.com.au/2012/04/new-zealand-forgotten-world-highway/ »

  5. @universio  Good luck with that.  Be interested to see your route – I’ve never really planned a “ride” before,  something that’ll take in special places and have a flow / story to it all its own, they’ve more just been ticked off the list.   I’m planning … »

  6. @Beers – yep, he raved about it as a recovery drink, it’s also worked for me when I’ve had breaks between rides – like if I’ve ridden out to a race or done a few k beforehand.  Maybe worth considering when I’m in the gutter 2/3rds of the way round?!  Lots… »

  7. @Rob Thanks Rob, food’s definitely going to be one to get right.  Tried the bacon thing on a century with bacon, peanut butter and maple syrup sandwiches – got to say as soon as the bacon hit my stomach I thought the brown rain was only seconds away.  Ric… »

  8. @Collin I’ve found that 120km rule to be the case for doing 160, too.  I’m loosely planning a 300 at the moment, and I’m not entirely sure what’s going to get me through that – sure I won’t be able to hammer that like I will a century, also planning on mi… »

If @steampunk can’t take much credit here I guess we can’t take any. We can take pleasure is seeing someone’s kid hauling ass on a bike, a Velominatus spawn, even better. We all came to cycling by different paths, seemingly few by our parents. It is impossible to outguess one’s children; they are clever little bastards. Hop...

@simon's posts:

  1. My #1 son is 12 years old and has an rabid dislike of competitive sports, (n NZ, this means Rugby –  nothing else exists) which I think probably comes from sharing the family trait of being so f*cking competitive he can’t deal with losing and so he’d rath… »

Never forget your roots, they say… OK, I’m a child of the 70’s, and back then bicycles were as big a part of my life as they are today. We’d always be out riding, building tracks and jumps, and tinkering with our Dragsters, stripping them down to emulate our motocross heroes, with varying results.All these memories came f...

@simon's posts:

  1. @Harminator I had a grifter, too, in snot green.  The saddle was enormous, it weighed the same as a chieftain tank, and my best friend’s boxer was quicker.  I never broke it though, which makes it unique among all the bikes I’ve ever owned. »

Wednesday sees the return of the women to the VSP. More notably, we see the return of Marianne Vos to the road. She’s won this race five of the last seven years. It makes me wonder if the rest of the field have already resigned themselves to racing for second. On the other hand, Vos hasn’t been racing of late and may not be as sharp as...

@simon's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Vos 2. Armitstead 3. Johannson 4. De Vries 5. Pooley »

Midweek in Belgium in Spring is a wonderful thing. Hordes of people come from seemingly nowhere to fill the bars and line the roadsides when presumably they’d usually be working, or at school, or some such. That the only ones who appear to be working are the bartenders and frites dispensers reinforces my belief that Belgium is the greatest co...

@simon's posts:

  1. If my current VSP form’s anything to go by I’ve just torpedoed the hopes of most of the big favourites – should be an interesting race then… VSP PICKS: 1. Gilbert 2. Gerrans 3. Kwiatkowski 4. Nibali 5. Slagter »

The Amstel Gold Race, 251 km from Maastricht to Valkenburg, the hard way. There appears to be no flat sections longer than ten meters. There are thirty-four mean little climbs to ruin the legs. We have moved on from the real Spring Classics. There is no rest in this VSP; The Ronde and Roubaix were amazing but we must continue. Legs that are smoked...

@simon's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Betancur 2. Iglinsky 3. Cunego 4. Slagter 5. Chavanel »

It has been a brutal week for us Keepers, having decided not to hold a Keepers Tour this year. Watching the action from half a world away has been almost too much for us to bear, and I know most of the participants from last year must be feeling similarly. On Sunday, we would be escorted by our friends and guides, William and Alex of Pavé Cycling...

@simon's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Vanmarcke 2. Phinney 3. Cancellara 4. Boonen 5. Wiggins »

Vlaanderen. Its no accident the Flemish word for Flanders starts with a V; there is nothing simple or easy about riding a bike here. If it isn’t wind, its steep bergs. If it isn’t tarmac, its cobbles. Most of the time, its all three. Oh, and the weather there sucks. In fact, Flanders doesn’t have weather – it has VVeather.De...

@simon's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Armitstead 2. Johansson 3. Bronzini 4. Cromwell 5. Stevens »

This needs no introduction. The Spring Classics are truly upon us. The course has been modified yet again, it is tougher? The riders make the race and the 2014 Ronde van Vlaanderen is loaded with racers who could win or make the Velominati VSP placings. Just to pick the winner will not be nearly as easy as it has been recently. There are small clo...

@simon's posts:

  1. Right, shit or bust…good luck everyone… »

  2. Right, shit or bust…good luck everyone… VSP PICKS: 1. Stybar 2. Haussler 3. Demare 4. Boonen 5. Devolder »

The Kemmelberg is a brute. In my opinion, its the hardest of the cobbled climbs in the Spring Classics; it has a high speed tarmac approach that saps the guns of their snap. The transition from tarmac to cobbles is awful, the stones are very badly laid throughout and if you don’t hit it just right, you’ll come to a standstill. The cobbl...

@simon's posts:

  1. If it was anyone else, I’d ask for extra points for predicting Farrar was going to stuff it into the tarmac.  As it is… »

  2. Farrar seems to be going well.  Reckon by picking him he’ll be certain to have at least one crash tomorrow – maybe two.  Past form, and all that… VSP PICKS: 1. Vanmarcke 2. Boonen 3. Degenkolb 4. EBH 5. Farrar »

  3. VSP PICKS: 1. Edvald Boasson Hagen 2. Boonen 3. Degenkolb 4. Cavendish 5. modolo »

For many Americans, their first ten speed bike was a Schwinn. It was heavy. Everything about it was heavy. It was the bike that was going to survive outside the bomb shelter. No one put a better crankset on a Schwinn. When we moved on that old bike languished in the garage and it was not coming back out. Not so for @Teocalli, for starters he didn&#...

@simon's posts:

  1. Beautiful. Even the mudguards, »

Het Volk (it will always be Het Volk to me) and now the Strade Bianche may well mark the sentimental beginning to the season, but those are specialized, pre-season races that appeal mostly to riders who are preparing for bigger objectives later in the year, such as the Cobbled or Ardennes Classics. Same goes for Tirreno Adriatico and Paris-Nice; t...

@simon's posts:

  1. VSP PICKS: 1. Degenkolb 2. Sagan 3. Gilbert 4. Cav 5. Haussler »

The Bike. It is the central tool in pursuit of our craft. A Velominatus meticulously maintains their bicycles and adorns them with the essential, yet minimal, accoutrement. The Rules specify the principles of good taste in configuration and setup of our machines, but within those principles lies almost infinite room for personal taste.It seems in s...

@simon's posts:

  1. @Mark1 Beauty, thanks Mark.  Guessing the Welsh roads are pretty similar to NZ ones – full of potholes, wet, covered in shit and sheep…if they’re OK there… »